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Big Scrapbook & Crafts Industry Merger News

The trend towards consolidation in the crafts industry is continuing, only this time the participants are companies that were already giants to begin with.

GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC, the private equity firm that owns scrapbooking company EK Success, announced yesterday that EK Success has acquired Wilton Industries, Inc. and Dimension Holdings, LLC. The company will be rebranded as Wilton Products, Inc., and will operate out of Wilton’s current home of Woodbridge, IL.

Reading, PA-based Dimensions is best known to scrapbookers for the K&Co brand of products, but the company’s other crafts brands also include the needlework line Dimensions, Paintworks, Perler Beads, and Inkadinkadoo.

Wilton is of course well-known to food crafters for its cake decorating and bakeware lines, but the company also owns The Weston Gallery line of home decor products, as well as kitchenware lines by Mario Batali, Rick Bayless, and Chef Robert Irvine.

Despite the fact that the GTCR press release terms the transaction as EK Success acquiring Wilton and Dimension, the new company will be headed by the Wilton President and CEO, Steven Fraser, who will take the titles of Chairman and CEO of the new Wilton Products, Inc. The new company will also be headquartered in Wilton’s current home of Woodbridge, IL.

Some interesting synergies that could possibly develop between Wilton and EK Success as part of one company include character licensing and the Martha Stewart Crafts line.

With EK Success now being part of a larger company that includes a baking and wedding division, it will be almost inevitable for the Martha Stewart Crafts line to move into those product areas.

Wilton currently holds character licensing on 14 different characters, and EK Success is heavily invested in licensing for its scrapbooking lines as well, with some duplication in those licenses of characters. How the new company might choose to proceed with expanding EK’s licenses into other products or cross-promoting their duplicate licenses remains to be seen.

A lot of changes are in store for these newly combined companies and their product lines. Many people will be watching closely to see what it might mean for the industry in general.

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